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Economic Contributions

American Prairie is committed to making a positive impact on local communities in our seven-county region.

We recognize that agriculture will remain the dominant industry, but trust that visitors to American Prairie will stimulate local economic activity when they contract local guides, buy food, fuel and supplies, and patronize local establishments like lodging and restaurants. Additional and significant economic opportunities are born through various expenditures, as described below.

Impact to Date

While American Prairie is in the business of large-scale conservation, one of our goals is to ensure that the land remains productive in a way that clearly contributes measurable benefits to the local economy. Because of this, we track the economic impact of American Prairie-related activities. 

Since 2002, American Prairie has contributed nearly $39 million to the area economy, including land purchases, wages paid to local staff, tourism activities, equipment and supply purchases, payments to local contractors, American Prairie-incurred expenses related to tourism and visitation, and real estate taxes. 

Photo of campground bridge

Find answers to frequently asked questions about American Prairie's local impacts, including payment of taxes, economic opportunities, and Wild Sky. 

In More Detail


  • We spend locally to support communities. We've spent $8.6 million in local communities over the last four years for management expenses such as utilities, supplies, repairs, vehicles, and equipment. In 2018 alone, we spent:  

    • $1.4 M in Phillips County

    • $1.3 M in Fergus County

    • $98 k in Blaine County

    • $24 k in Valley County

  • We pay taxes to strengthen Montana. While we may be eligible for an exemption for a small portion of our property acres (up to 160 acres out of our total 86,586 deeded acres), we choose to fully pay all property taxes. In the last four years, we have paid more than $332,000 in taxes (real, personal, use, etc.) to project area counties. 

  • We create jobs. As American Prairie grows, the number of staff needed to maintain it also increases. We offer new permanent and seasonal employment opportunities for local residents and attract new workers and families to the region. American Prairie currently employs approximately 38 full time employees and 11 part time seasonal employees, inclusive of those in the project region. 

  • We support community organizations. We contributed $42,000 in 2018 to area/community organizations in the project area.